Sedition case: Supreme Court stays arrest of six journalists, Tharoor
The Supreme Court on Tuesday granted protection from arrest to journalists Mrinal Pande, Vinod Jose, Anant Nath, Rajdeep Sardesai, Zafar Agha and Paresh Nath and Congress leader Shashi Tharoor, against whom sedition charges were brought over tweets and reports relating to the death of a farmer during the Republic Day tractor rally in Delhi.
Multiple FIRs were registered under sedition and other laws in Delhi, Uttar Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh against the petitioners, accusing them of causing disaffection by suggesting the farmer was shot. Police say the farmer died after his tractor overturned.
A bench headed by Chief Justice of India S.A. Bobde, while issuing notices to the states concerned and complainants in the FIRs, posted the matter for further hearing after two weeks.
“Issue notice returnable in two weeks. In the meantime, there shall be stay of arrest of the petitioners,” the bench, also comprising Justices A.S. Bopanna and V. Ramasubramanian, said in a written order.
The petitioners have termed the FIRs frivolous and sought their cancellation.
The Supreme Court on Tuesday refused to entertain a petition seeking declaration of Section 124A (sedition) of the IPC as unconstitutional and a violation of citizens’ fundamental right to free speech and life and liberty.